ITS BACK! After a small step away from writing these up, I’ve decided to return to the spotlight with a new round of Educated Guesses. For this adventure, we return to the land where you have to retrieve a briefcase off a giant carabiner in the sky to be king — yes, we’re talking Money In The Bank ’18.
Last year I picked BOTH briefcase winners correctly in Carmella and Baron Corbin (sorry for the reminder). Let’s see if I can do the same this year.
The Gold Bond Ultimate Kickoff Show
Smackdown Tag Team Championship
The Bludgeon Brothers (C) vs. Karl Anderson / Luke Gallows
Why does it feel like only two weeks into the Bludgeon’s title reign, when they’ve held onto the titles for months now? Either way, one can only assume a Bludgeon/SAnitY showdown is set for sometime in the very near future and, sadly, your boys in The Club probably aren’t part of that picture. Sure, they let Anderson get a quick one past Harper last week on Smackdown, but don’t expect the “Good Brothers” to come out ahead here.
Educated Guess – Bludgeon Brothers
Bobby Lashley vs. Sami Zayn
Holy hell … I struggle to think of a match I am less excited for than the upcoming, and hopefully feud ending, match between Lashley and Zayn.
God bless Sami for trying to pull magic out of these promos where possible, because trying to get through them has been painful. Its becoming weirdly obvious that Bobby was brought back with no real plan and when you have the in-ring personality of a clothes dryer, it gets a bit hard for someone to help you get over. Unfortunately, I am betting on WWE standing behind their recent pickup and building up the win for Lashley.
Educated Guess – Bobby Lashley
Roman Reigns vs. Jinder Mahal
Ok … we’re not starting off hot here, obviously, as we’re already at the Roman vs Jinder match.
It’s hard to pick Jinder at all in this one and that is sad. They could be doing their best to make Mahal seem like a worthy opponent, but instead — save for this past Raw — they’ve been making Roman look like the human highlight reel at this point.
I wish I could say different, but this match was decided when Roman speared Jinder through the wall.
Educated Guess – Roman Reigns
Daniel Bryan vs. Big Cass
Finally, a match with some intrigue on this card!
Sure, Daniel Bryan is DANIEL BRYAN, but they’ve done an incredible job grounding his character and folding him seamlessly back into the roster. Most people thought he was going to immediately be thrust into the main event scene, but WWE pivoted to utilize him where he was needed most.
I give them a lot of kudos for that, to be honest.
That said, they have him working with Big Cass who is still trying to find his footing in the WWE as their hopeful “next big man.” So far in this war, their one match ended in Bryan tapping Cass out. And he’s promised to do it again. Something tells me he won’t get the chance. The pendulum needs to swing the other way in this feud and I think Big Cass walks away with his head held high.
Educated Guess – Big Cass
Seth Rollins (C) vs. Elias
Goddamn I am excited for this match. Elias is hitting his groove by all accounts and has solidified himself as a major main roster player for a while. Rollins walks in with quite possibly the best year of work anyone from the WWE has had this year.
It’s hard not to guess that with a few character tweaks, and some rocket fuel, I could 100% see these guys main eventing a WrestleMania in 4-5 years.
Maybe this extends past Sunday night to Extreme Rules, but I’m assuming Seth keeps the belt here.
Educated Guess – Seth Rollins
Smackdown Women’s Title
Carmella (C) vs. Asuka
So, admittedly, I have been pondering this for a minute … and the main mental point I keep coming back to is “Carmella is a great heel character.”
Her run as champion, so far, is actually going incredibly well — especially compared to the Raw brand.
Now that the mystique of Asuka losing has ended, the door is wide open to make Carmella back up her claims via nefarious forces. Asuka will obviously get her title reign in due time, but for now its Carmella’s world.
Educated Guess – Carmella
WWE Championship Match – Last Man Standing
AJ Styles (C) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
The dream match! …. Again!
After wanting this match in WWE for what felt like years, we’ve been delivered it time and time again as of late. As much as I’ve loved the feud, I’m really hoping this is the end of it for now.
Shinsuke has been a great heel, but there are other areas they can use him on the show right now as a monster villain — a Daniel Bryan/Nakamura feud would be dreamy — but, for the immediate future, I just don’t see him walking away with the championship.
This match is going to be absolute fire – but I see AJ walking out, championship in tow.
Educated Guess – AJ Styles
Raw Women’s Championship
Nia Jax (C) vs. Ronda Rousey
It’s kind of crazy that Ronda already has a title match. More so, that I actually want her to win!
Not since Kurt Angle have we seen someone who dominated one area of sports dive into a separate one at an elite level and feel right at home. This all said, something tells me WWE isn’t going all in with Ronda’s title reign just yet and are going to exercise a little patience with it.
It’s Ronda’s first singles match after all and there’s plenty of excuses why a quick loss would work. Expecting Nia to walk out of this one with the title.
Educated Guess – Nia Jax
Women’s Money In The Bank Ladder Match
Ember Moon vs. Charlotte vs. Alexa Bliss vs. Becky Lynch vs. Natalya vs. Lana vs. Naomi vs. Sasha Banks
We can only assume WWE has learned their lesson from last year and will go ahead and NOT feature a man grabbing the briefcase this year (again – HOW WAS THAT A GOOD IDEA??). That said, WWE has done a really good job of leaving both of these ladder matches wide open for curiosities. No one as of yet has emerged the clear front runner in either of the big matches and heading into Sunday anyone could logistically take this.
However, let me tell you why I think it’s Alexa Bliss.
Over the past year, WWE has shown amazing dedication to Alexa Bliss’ character and one could argue that it has paid off incredibly well. We’ve gotten a heel who plays the part well, can pull off a promo (save for “Bayley: This is Your Life”) and can work some big time matches. She’s already taken Elimination Chamber this year and one could argue that WWE keeps the train rolling through Money In The Bank. Would I prefer Becky winning? Of course! But something tells me WWE sees how good the Alexa briefcase storylines could be and it will be too enticing to ignore.
Educated Guess – Alexa Bliss
Men’s Money In The Bank Ladder Match
Braun Strowman vs. Finn Bálor vs. The Miz vs. Rusev vs. Bobby Roode vs. Kevin Owens vs. Samoa Joe vs. A Member of The New Day
So, confusion aside over which member of The New Day gets into the match — rooting for Big E — I’ve been pretty dead set on who’s going to win this for a while now. For the men’s match, everyone makes sense winning honestly, but one has stood out time and time again.
That man, is Kevin Owens.
KO holding the case would write itself for the most part and anyone/anywhere he decides to cash it in would be an instantly fun angle. Look at last year. Don’t get me wrong, I loved Baron Corbin winning, but the angle went nowhere and was instantly forgettable. Owens is the one member of this roster who I feel could walk out with the case and instantly have super hot storylines with anyone he was to go against for the title.
Yes. Especially Lesnar.
Educated Guess – Kevin Owens
Agree? Disagree? Vehemently oppose but ultimately respect? Sound off in the comments!